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Inside Studs’ New Rockefeller Center Location, the Brand’s Biggest NYC Studio

By Noah SilversteinMar 11 2024
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Once upon a time, the milestone of getting your first piercings was relegated exclusively to juvenile-leaning mall shops or mature-oriented tattoo parlors. Filling that huge gap in the middle brought along the piercing parlor revolution, offering piercing adornments at unattainable price points. Enter Studs, the ear piercing haven where everyone of any age can get needle pierced and curate their earring wardrobe for an inclusive price. “Prior to Studs, the landscape for ear piercing with needles (not piercing guns) was fragmented. Our customer was going to their local tattoo shop,” says Anna Harman, CEO and co-founder of Studs. “The experience, environment, and jewelry assortment didn't always meet their expectations.”

“We’re very excited to expand our presence in our hometown, with Rockefeller Center being our sixth and most iconic studio yet."
— Anna Harman, co-founder and CEO of Studs

Harman and her co-founder, Lisa Bubbers, founded Studs in 2019 after the pair went through this very experience. “I knew I wanted to get pierced with a needle and not a gun, and Lisa came with me to get pierced at a tattoo parlor in downtown NYC,” says Harman. “The piercing practice was healthy and safe, but I felt out of place in the environment and didn’t love the jewelry assortment.” Five years later, the cult favorite piercing destination has opened 22 studios nationwide, with its newest location bringing its signature buzz to Rockefeller Center.

“We’re very excited to expand our presence in our hometown, with Rockefeller Center being our sixth and most iconic studio yet,” says Harman. “When selecting locations for new Studs Studios, we look for neighborhoods with Gen Z and millennial populations, shopping areas with strong foot traffic from locals and tourists… we’re thrilled to open up next to our friends at Hill House and directly across from Radio City Music Hall.”

Related: 10 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Radio City Music Hall

Patrons of Studs, both new and loyal, are encouraged to curate an Earscape®, the brand’s signature trademarked term for your personal mix of earrings. “We coined the term to describe the art and science of ear piercing and earring stacking for your unique ear anatomy and style,” says Harman. Browsing through Studs’ sleek, minimal retail space is like entering a bright, light-filled rocketship packed with anyone’s ideal dream earring collection: from gold and silver plated studs in fun, whimsical shapes to pave-encrusted hoops of all sizes.

Adding to the whimsy are the yellow rubber ear molds with piercing holes lined up to help customers simulate their own Earscape®, a surreal yet inspired feature that sets Studs apart from its competition in the field. “The best thing about curating your Earscape® is that it’s based on your own ear anatomy and what looks and feels best to you,” says Harman — and it’s a far cry from many others offering a one-size-fits-all approach to the ear piercing and shopping experience.

Also setting Studs apart is its needle-only method of piercing, as opposed to similar parlors and studios that mostly rely on piercing guns. “Our piercing experts only use needles for better precision, safety, and healing. Piercing with needles results in less tissue trauma, shorter healing time, and an overall more hygienic and precise piercing procedure,” says Harman.

For a business that’s grown exponentially over just the past five years, the sky is seemingly the limit for how high Studs can soar. When asked what’s next on the horizon for the brand after the huge triumph of the Rockefeller Center location, Harman says to look out for new locations around the country popping up where you live, and even more surprises right here in New York City.

Studs is open at 30 Rockefeller Plaza daily from 11am to 7pm.

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